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Social Media Week event expands AP initiative to connect academics and media professionals

Who sets the news agenda in the social media age? How can news organizations maintain a sense of substance and gain useful insights from the community without falling victim to hype or hyperbole? These will be among the questions considered in a discussion led by The Associated Press at Social Media Week in New York on Feb. 25.

Clockwise from top left: Lou Ferrara, AP vice president and managing editor; Lisa George, associate professor of economics at Hunter College; Tom Namako, news assignment editor at BuzzFeed News; David Reiter, vice president of news gathering at ABC News; Elizabeth Spiers, founding editor of Gawker and former editor-in-chief of The New York Observer; Miklos Sarvary, head of Media Program at Columbia Business School.

Moderated by AP Vice President and Managing Editor Lou Ferrara, the panel will use a new research brief from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri titled, “Setting or Chasing the Agenda: Who Controls the news?” to help spur a candid conversation. Panelists include:

Lisa George, associate professor of economics, Hunter College
Tom Namako, news assignment editor at BuzzFeed News
David Reiter, vice president of news gathering at ABC News
Miklos Sarvary, head of the Media Program at Columbia Business School
Elizabeth Spiers, founding editor of Gawker and former editor-in-chief of The New York Observer

The hourlong event starts at 3:30 p.m. ET at the Highline Stages, 441 West 14th Street, in New York, and is open to Social Media Week attendees. Registration is required. Follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag: #SMWNewsagenda.

The event expands on AP’s efforts to connect academics and media professionals in an open exchange of data and ideas. For example, AP hosts a series of media seminars that brings together some of the world’s leading media scholars. In collaboration with the Reynolds Institute, AP is planning other events in 2015 that will seek to stimulate discussion and inform news industry transformation.

“We’re excited to help the news industry tap one of the biggest sources of knowledge and insights -- academic research -- to foster dialogue and help navigate through disruption,” said Francesco Marconi, a strategist for AP who is leading the research initiative.

Randy Picht, executive director of the Reynolds Journalism Institute, added: “If you think about all of the new opportunities and challenges for the news industry and the gigantic amount of data to analyze and research, you would have to agree that now is the right time to make use of academic research.”


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Paul Colford
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The Associated Press
212-621-1895
pcolford@ap.org

Erin Madigan White
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The Associated Press
212-621-7005
emadigan@ap.org


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